When two brothers organize the robbery of their parents' jewelry store the job goes horribly wrong, triggering a series of events that sends them, their father and one brother's wife hurtling towards a shattering climax.
Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Dan Mahowny was a rising star at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. At twenty-four he was assistant manager of a major branch in the heart of Toronto's financial district. To his colleagues he was a workaholic. To his customers, he was astute, decisive and helpful. To his friends, he was a quiet, but humorous man who enjoyed watching sports on television. To his girlfriend, he was shy but engaging. None of them knew the other side of Dan Mahowny--the side that executed the largest single-handed bank fraud in Canadian history, grossing over $10 million in eighteen months to feed his gambling obsession. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
The movie's budget was about ten million dollars, which was also roughly the amount that the real person Dan Mahowney is based on stole from the bank he worked for. See more »
The craps table that Mahowney plays at in Atlantic City has the "Big 6" and "Big 8" bets. These bets were never approved in Atlantic City and have never appeared on the layout of any of the city's craps tables. See more »
In "Owning Mahowny," Philip Seymour Hoffman proved before his Oscar win that he is one of the great actors of his generation, playing a compulsive gambler who embezzles millions from the bank where he works. Mahowny is a fascinating character. He's a slob who drives an old car and is obviously cheap. He has a girlfriend (Minnie Driver) whom he loves, but in whom he hasn't confided very much. In fact, he lies to her, as he lies to everyone. His god is gambling - not money, just gambling. As Frank Perlin (Maury Chaykin), one of the guys who takes his action attests, "He just wants to have the money to lose." We watch Mahowny get in deeper and deeper, creating false loans and stealing from his clients. He becomes a VIP at an Atlantic City casino where he is given the best of everything and offered even more -but he's not going to do anything that takes away from his time at the tables. Unbeknownst to him, the Feds are interested in some of his associates and become curious about this Mahowny guy, thinking he may be in on a drug racket.
This movie will keep you hooked throughout. Hoffman is brilliant and even sports a Canadian accent (the film was made there and the real Mahowny is Canadian). Hoffman comes from my home town, and as we are close to Canada, he is familiar with the accent. He fits right in. The rest of the acting is uniformly good, with the standout being the remarkable John Hurt as the casino owner who wants Mahowny to keep throwing money at the casino and will do anything to keep him there. The insight into the gambling world is amazing - and may keep you away from the tables the next time you're in Vegas or Atlantic City.
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